In this article, I’ll share my experience with HostXnow reseller hosting (affiliate link) – sharing all the specifics, pros and cons I’ve noticed. The basic idea is for this article to serve as my own reminder and reference – but also to help when people ask me for an opinion and recommendations, so I can just send them a link to this article and save myself time in the long run.
…This is not an ordinary review. 🙂
From December, 2022 – to September 2023.
Table Of Contents (T.O.C.):
- About HostXnow company
- What is my general impression?
- Why HostXnow?
- Migrating to HostXnow
- Security and stability
- Technical support
- Performance (speed)
1. About HostXnow company
HostXnow is a UK-based hosting provider that’s been in the business for over ten years. It’s owned by Mr Christopher Smith.
Chris is quite active on WebHostingTalk forum. We’ve had a fair share of educational discussions over the years there. Related to the hosting service: I’m yet to hear any justified bad feedback regarding HostXnow’s service quality. That’s how HostXnow reached my list of providers whose services I plan to try (this comment I made in 2022 shows that).
I mostly use reseller hosting, because I run several websites. At that, I’ve grown very fond of “elastic” reseller hosting: which lets me decide how many of the total rented resources I wish to dedicate to each website (based on its size, number of visitors etc.).
So, when Chris asked me to test his service, I asked if he plans to offer something similar to MDDHosting’s elastic reseller hosting. He thought about it, and after a while, I got an account on an elastic server in Germany (HostXnow website link). Awesome! 🙂
Here, using the HostMantis provider, I’ve explained what elastic reseller hosting is (and how the resources are distributed, what it’s good for, and why I like it).
2. What is my general impression?
I’ll answer this question right away before going into details and metrics:
Fast, stable, secure… and no idea what the technical support is like as I’m yet to have any problems. 🙂 I did ask for some features (like Softaculous) and got that sorted out in no time, but it’s not what I’d call a real technical problem.
I’ve moved the BikeGremlin RS website (cycling-related, in my native) to HostXnow. That’s the most objective and thorough way to test – by hosting my own production stuff. So I’ll keep this review up-to-date as time goes by, in case of any changes for the better or for the worse.
Alas, different people have different preferences and priorities. That’s why I’ll write all the details and metrics in this review so that you can see if it’s the right fit for you. I think that’s only fair. It will be long, boring and tedious – just as I like it when considering a purchase (i.e. no marketing mambo-jumbo). 🙂
3. Why HostXnow?
“Pun intended” – as the Americans say. 🙂
For quite some time, HostXnow has been on my shortlist of hosting providers to try (see my comment on this site from September 2022). Here’s why (my reasoning and thought process):
- I’m pretty “in the hosting waters” (a moderator on the LowEndSpirit forum, and a co-founder of the HostingForums.net forum), and I haven’t heard anything bad about HostXnow. That speaks a lot.
- HostXnow’s owner, Chris, is active on the WebHostingTalk forum. I’m generally familiar with his reasoning, tech. stack, and used to his stubbornness as he’s remained civil and respectful, even when we disagreed. 🙂
- LowEndSpirit forum rules require vetting and background checks before we allow a hosting provider to advertise there. An exception to that rule is if a moderator knows and “vouches” for a provider (the basic idea is to prevent frauds from taking people’s money and disappearing, as it’s all virtual). When Chris applied, I came forward to vouch, but he insisted on doing it all by the book. To me, this speaks volumes about integrity.
Now, at the time of writing, I’m hosting most of my sites with MDDHosting and am delighted with their service (see my MDDHosting review).
As decades of working with computers have taught me the importance of backups, I’m also actively using Veerotech hosting services and am happy with their service too.
Do I need another hosting service? No, not really. However, when Chris asked me if I’d like to try his new elastic reseller hosting, this was my thought process:
- Since companies offer me free services and money to do reviews, I can conclude that my reviews are helpful to companies.
- Chris looks like a man whose work should be helped and supported.
- I will have spent a few dozen hours on testing, and in return, I’ll know first-hand if HostXnow is really good and, if it matches my expectations, I’ll have a tried and tested hosting service in Europe, should any of my clients insist on that location (though server performance and website optimization are a lot more important than server location – based on my experience).
It’s a win-win! 🙂
Of course, despite being crazy, I’m not stupid. So I did ask for free test hosting. 🙂
My proposal was that if the initial testing was good, I would move one production website to HostXnow and host it there. That way, I could make a more thorough test and keep my review up-to-date. Should I ever decide to move more than one site, I’ll pay the regular price, as I’m no longer primarily just testing.
I did note that it’s not a likely scenario, as I’m happy with my current hosting, and I don’t expect that service to become bad.
Chris and I agreed this is a fair deal. So I got down to “torturing” Chris’s server. 🙂
For the folks who’ve asked me to review this provider (you know who you are) – here you go! 🙂
4. Migrating to HostXnow
As it should be! 🙂
It all went smoothly. Migrating and removing test websites, followed by migration of a production site, with zero minutes of downtime. 🙂
5. Security and stability
HostXnow uses Imunify360 software, among other things, to secure the servers (I very much like that software and think it’s pretty good).
Here, you can see the uptime stats for practically all the services I’m currently using, including HostXnow:
I track these stats using the free HetrixTools (affiliate link).
So far, I have nothing further to add – it all looks good, as it should. I’m happiest when my security and tech-related “chapters” are short and uneventful.
As I once joked with a friend who is a painter (when we discussed the importance of creativity):
“Do you really want your mechanic or website hosting administrator to be creative people who try to make their day at work exciting?!” 🙂
6. Technical support
For now, this is just a placeholder, as I haven’t had any problems requiring technical support’s help (though, if you donate a few bucks via Patreon, it would help me solve some other problems 🙂 ).
I’ll update this when I have something to write about.
Update 1, March 2023:
I’ve had a strange problem, apparently Cloudflare-related (the Cloudflare-related problem described).
Considering the complexity of the technical stack used to run modern websites, I’m not surprised that it took more than 10 hours to solve the problem (by migrating my accounts to a different server). The tech. support was quick to respond and get down to figuring the problem out.
Some 7 hours since I had reported the problem, I decided to temporarily disable Cloudflare, so my site gets back to running normally, while I’m waiting for the problem to be solved (as I hadn’t received any instructions or news in almost 2 hours). I notified the tech. support via a ticket that:
“I’ve temporarily disabled the Cloudflare proxy to have the site working until it’s all sorted out.”
An hour later I got a ticket explaining that they had contacted cPanel support, who said the site is working normally. Well, of course, since I had disabled Cloudflare to get it to run, and notified them about it right away.
I try to stick to these principles when communicating with technical support. It is frustrating when it seems as if what I reported hasn’t been read (though it’s only been this one instance and mistakes and miscommunication are human). That can make troubleshooting longer and more troublesome. In this case, it was enough to ask me to re-enable Cloudflare, so cPanel’s tech. support wouldn’t be wasting time for nothing.
To avoid any misunderstanding:
Based on my experience, this looks like one of those tricky problems that can be solved only by those who had run into exactly such a problem before (which is one of the reasons for documenting it). Also, one incident is not enough to assess the quality of technical support. It is very positive that HostXnow haven’t given up on me saying “it all works on our end,” but have found a solution, even if it’s a “Solomonic” one via migrating to a new hosting server.
A very good solution:
That’s what it boils down to. My problem was fixed and the site is running fine. Poor hosting providers have problems often and don’t always solve them. With HostXnow, this was the first real problem I’ve had in several months of testing, and it was solved with a high-quality solution. Over the past years I’ve learned to appreciate this kind of customer treatment, and not take it for granted, because it’s not something you find very often.
The problem had reoccured on the UK hosting server, but this time we put in some more time to figure out the cause. It turned out the problem was caused by Cloudflare Railgun. I wrote in a bit more details about it in chapter 8 of my article about hosting server and website problems.
To put things into perspective, MDDHosting’s technical support is the best I’ve experienced. Having said that, based on my experience so far, HostXnow technical support is very good, competent, and won’t leave you stranded so to speak.
Update 3 – September 2023:
When I tried updating an article, I got this error:
“Updating failed. The response is not a valid JSON response.”
I googled, checked server error logs, checked WordPress health, and couldn’t find a solution. I tried using a VPN, in case my IP address was blocked. It didn’t help.
Since my other cycling website runs with exactly the same setup (with the same theme and plugins), I checked if it works. It worked just fine. It is hosted with a different hosting provider (MDDHosting).
That’s when I opened a support ticket. It was a very, very early morning – dead of the night for all the normal people (~4 AM). Before I received an answer, I hopped on my bike and went to my office, to try from a different computer and a different Internet service provider. That didn’t help.
I got the first ticket reply after ~30 minutes, giving me the standard… well, see for yourself:
kindly refer to the URL mentioned below to troubleshoot this error,
Please check this with your developer.Kind regards,
I explained that I had already tried the basic stuff – quote:
The website is the same setup as before this problem occurred.
I think it’s something server-related.
Also, I have another site with exactly the same plugin and theme setup running fine, with a different cPanel reseller hosting provider.
That too is why I suspect some server-side security to be the problem.
I’ve also tried two different computers (with two different locations and ISPs), as well as VPN. Nothing helps.Relja
Some ~30 minutes after that, I got a reply explaining that the ticket is escalated to senior technical staff.
Within an hour after that reply, I moved the site to MDDHosting. It was important for me for the site to work, so I can do the updates and edits I had planned.
That was a pretty knee-jerk, impatient reaction on my part. I can’t fault a small provider for not paying top-class technical support 24/7 – that costs a lot, and it would reflect heavily on the prices. It is my problem that I am very productive from 4 to 10 AM, in my time zone (one hour before the UK time zone). So it might not be a perfect fit for me, but would for most normal people. 🙂
HostXnow did look into the problem and notified me the problem was caused by Imunify360 firewall rule – Imunify360 developers are working on fixing it.
I’ve generally been very happy with HostXnow service and would be willing to give it another go should a need arise.
7. Performance (speed)
If you are among those folks who believe that “website speed is important for SEO,” you’ll be happy to read that HostXnow is by far the fastest-performing hosting I’ve tried so far! In terms of performance, especially if most of your website visitors come from Europe, this is an excellent choice.
Octoperf load tests were passed without server load stats even showing that a load test was taking place (my load test methodology). 🙂
The generic WordPress performance tests also gave phenomenal results:
LiteSpeed still hasn’t fixed the object cache for the shared hosting environment (Memcached has been broken for over a year, while Redis has never been securely implemented). At the time of writing, MDDHosting is the only provider I know of that enables this securely – MDDHosting’s Memcached and Redis object cache (MDDHosting website link).
Based on my experience, object caching is not of crucial importance, even for web shops. It’s a nice-to-have, but far from a deal breaker, especially when the raw server performance more than makes up for any caching imperfections (when I started using MDDHosting, object caching wasn’t sorted out, and I was still very pleased with the performance – I still am).
The bottom line is – very powerful servers, which aren’t overcrowded (overselling vs overloading explained).
Elastic reseller hosting starts at about $25 per month (Boost package), and for that money, you get:
- 10 cPanel accounts
- 10 GB of NVMe SSD storage
- 4 GB RAM
- 4 vCPU cores (what is a vCPU?)
- 250 total processes
- 100 entry processes
- I/O 200 MB/s
- IOPS 6144
- 1 TB of bandwidth
The next package tier, Power, costs double and gives you all the above-listed resources doubled. The highest tier package, Premium, doubles the Power package’s price and resources.
You can also purchase additional cPanel accounts, storage, or bandwidth:
- $0.5 per month per an additional cPanel account.
- $0.4 per month per an additional GB of storage.
- $0.1 per month per an additional GB of bandwidth.
The hardware is so powerful that you can host dozens of websites on the lowest package tier, just paying extra for the needed cPanel accounts and storage GB – it ends up cheaper (why pay for the extra RAM and vCPU if you aren’t using it?).
Considering the quality and the performance, I’d call these prices affordable.
Shared hosting prices start at $4 per month. You can’t find anything decent for less, don’t fool yourself (at least that’s my opinion based on my experience – I don’t care which hosting you choose to buy).
Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m happy with this hosting. I’m actively using the service for my own website. There’s no more thorough test nor a more honest recommendation than that. For full disclosure: most of my sites are still hosted with MDDHosting. It’s a great provider too, and I don’t like moving sites away from good providers, even when I find something “better and cheaper.” It’s a principle I stick with.
I’ll update this review if anything changes (either for better or for worse).
If you decide to get HostXnow hosting thanks to this review (or in spite of it 🙂 ), you can use my affiliate link – ’cause yachts won’t pay for themselves! 🙂